Monday, October 13, 2014

That's the Way the Pie Crumbles

On one of the days that my body was healing, I decided to try something that I don't do often and am terrible at... make a pie. I love pie. Pie is a salve for the soul. I think after eating a piece of pie, anything in life will seem better. The problem is that I'm terrible at pies. I can make a good crust but the filling always ends up a soupy mess or the pie ends up looking thin and anemic. Sometimes the crust tastes good and is flaky on the edges but it it soft and doughy underneath. Other times it is perfect underneath but is burnt on the edges.

Last summer, my parents gave me several bags of apples from the trees we planted on their farm ten years ago the day after we got married. Instead of party favors, we planted fruit trees for an orchard. One of my wife's aunts were visiting at the time and spent a day cutting and slicing the apples into freezer bags along with some flour, sugar and cinnamon. The goal was that someday all I would have to do is to thaw them out, dump them in a crust and bake them into a pie.

One recent Saturday in between my home improvement shows that I watch, I caught a show by Martha Stewart on how to make a crumble topping fruit pie. I normally put pies between an lower and upper crust which might be why they always end up soupy so I thought this might be the cure for that. So I made the crumble to Martha's instructions, the lower crust to my normal recipe, added twice my normal filling to avoid an anemic pie and ended up with the best pie I have ever made. There is hope for me yet.


sage said...

That looks good! I'll take a slice for breakfast!

Ed said...

Sage - I had a piece for breakfast. It was good!

Rich said...

Having apple pie for breakfast reminds me of one of my favorite breakfast combinations.

Everyone I ever mentioned it to thinks it sounds strange, but I've always liked to have apple pie with scrambled eggs (and I like my eggs peppery).

It's a perfect combination of sweet, crispy, flaky, cinnamony peppery, salty, and the creamy texture of the eggs.

It might be an acquired taste, but I like it.

ErinFromIowa said...

Hey! I have one rolled up type pie crust in the fridge. Granny Smith apples. Guess what I am going to make?
P.S. I think we even have the same ceramic pie dish!

Anonymous said...

I've found if you blind bake the case and cook the filling in a saucepan then put a gelatin sheet in the filling. Allow to cool, then pour the fruit filling into the cold case.

Ed said...

Rich - I like my eggs peppery too so I would be willing to give it a try. Alas the pie is long gone now so it will have to wait another day.

Erin - I think one of the reason this pie turned out so good is that I used frozen apples instead of fresh apples. When I use fresh apples, I have moisture problems. Though a crumble crust may allow it to evaporate more readily and solve that issue. Let me know how it works. I think the frozen apples which I thawed out and then drained a lot of water from before putting into the pie, concentrated the flavor and because I started out with less water, made the pie nice and firm even when still slightly warm. As you can tell by my rambling, I need to do a lot more experimentation to know for sure why this one turned out so good!

Vince - I have tried that route before but I'm not a big fan of gelatin pies. I'm not sure if it is a slight off taste (of the gelatin) for me or the fact that the liquid turns to jelly and stays in the pie. I just prefer the liquid to be gone so everything left is all fruit with some bite to it.